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November 1994, Week 3


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wheeler dixon <[log in to unmask]>
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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 20 Nov 1994 16:47:34 CST
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> ----------------------------Original message----------------------------
>         Wheeler Dixon's call for attention to a range of important and
> underdiscussed filmmakers is admirable and I wholly agree -- but it also
> presumes that access to the films of these figures is free and easy.  I
> live in a city with some art cinemas and pretty good video stores -- many
> on this list probably do not.  And it is by no means easy for me --  and
> trust that I'm willing to try anything new -- to see these films.  I mean,
> it's near impossible enough to see Godard's most recent work, or to keep up
> on Brakhage -- if Mr. Dixon is able to see the work of all the filmmakers
> he lists on a regular basis, then he has my complete envy.  His suggestion
> that we all expand our range is one I second; how to do so in the current
> film culture is another matter.  And if he or anyone else has suggestions
> as to how and where to see more exciting, cutting-edge films, I and others
> would love to hear it.  (Finally, whatever one thinks of PULP FICTION as
> art -- to use a very old term -- it has been used by this list to discuss
> questions of race, homophobia and sexism, narrative structure, and other
> such topics -- not exactly the lowbrow attention Mr. Dixon implies.)
These films are available, that's just my point. They're hanging out
in the hot singles section of Blockbuster, or in the foreign films
section, and if they aren't there, you can find them at Facets Video
in Chicago (call 1 800 331 6197 for a catalogue) or else from Foothill
Video, which has many foregn films in addition to a stack of old
westerns. The point is that you have to look for these films, find
them in obscure corners or in other places you wouldn't ordinarily
think of looking (for example, there is a Taiwanese store here called
Fashion and Video where my students have picked up Iranian musicals,
Taiwanese romances and action films, all with English and Vietnamese
subtitles). Using PULP FICTION is discuss the concepts you mention, is
useful, but it follows the line of least resistance. Just because PULP
FICTION is available everywhere, doesn that mean the discussion should
stop there? This illusion of unavilability is a myth, a myth that
makes it easy for us to ignore the work at the margins and continue to
recycle what we know. Wheeler Winston Dixon